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Megatrends 2050: combining sustainability and competitiveness

Combining sustainability and competitiveness

During the conference "Megatrends 2050: Shaping the future with scientific foresight", Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation, reviewed some of these megatrends and how Luxembourg is addressing these challenges. Second part: climate change and resource scarcity.

At the recent conference "Megatrends 2050: Shaping the future with scientific foresight", Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation, spoke about the recent publications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which repeats that: global warming will reach 1.5°C by the early 2030s.

Already in 2020, Luxinnovation conducted its own analysis of the main post-Covid-19 market trends, capturing the views of companies and players in the Luxembourg economy. "Four major axes emerged," recalls Sara Bouchon Director Market Intelligence at Luxinnovation. "The urgency to address, at the economic level, the challenges related to both sustainability, the digitalisation of the economy, the review of business models of companies and resilience."

This report particularly highlighted the issue of resource availability and the importance of rethinking our regional value chains. Given the importance of the construction sector, which represents nearly 6% of the national GDP and which has been heavily impacted by the disruption of supply chains and soaring raw material prices, Luxinnovation focused on this sector by identifying pathways that will allow for more value to be added to materials that are present in our ecosystem, but which remain insufficiently valued in a circular and regional manner.

e-Holzhaff, a digital marketplace for wood

Following this analysis, Luxinnovation engaged in several developmental projects. This is the case, for example, of the e-holzhaff platform launched in 2022. This project originated from the observation that, too often, wood from Luxembourg's forests is bought by foreign companies and then transformed before returning to Luxembourg in the form of finished products. This leads to an enormous ecological cost for the transport and dispersion of our own raw materials.

There is still a lot of potential and we continue to mobilise to expand its use.
Sasha Baillie

The e-holzhaff platform is a digital marketplace that aims to facilitate the connection of supply and demand of the wood sector in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, thus optimising the value chain. To date, more than 6,000 visitors have consulted this platform, about 400 products have been referenced and made available. "There is still a lot of potential and we continue to mobilise to expand its use," said Ms Baillie.

Fit 4 Sustainability, to guide companies

Luxinnovation is also working with the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Spatial Planning (in charge of sustainable construction) and the Ministry of the Environment on the implementation of a deconstruction platform. This will be both a digital and physical platform, and will allow materials from the demolition of buildings to be reused locally, thus accelerating greater circularity of materials in this sector.

"These examples of developmental projects in the ecosystem take into account problems that several actors face, but that none of them alone could solve," says Ms Baillie. "This is why we also intervene at the level of individual companies to help them address their ecological transition. It is not easy, especially for SMEs, to know where to start. That's why Luxinnovation launched the Fit 4 Sustainability programme."

This programme helps companies carry out a diagnosis of their environmental impact, with the help of specialised consultants, pre-selected on the basis of their respective expertise, the cost of which is co-financed by the Ministry of the Economy. "These diagnoses helps companies understand, for example, where they stand in terms of their energy consumption, water consumption, circularity. This leads to the implementation of an action plan, a roadmap, aimed at reducing their environmental impact, but also at reducing their costs and thus embarking on an innovation process that will make them more competitive and sustainable."

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Learn more about the Fit 4 Sustainability Programme and how Luxinnovation can support you.
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